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Preserving the record of the toy train hobby and the industry that creates them.

TCA Reference Library

Reference Library.The Reference Library is both a great resource for members, and the repository for researchers of extensive material about the history of the toy train industry.  Located in the Headquarters building in Strasburg, PA, the library is a dynamic center of activity.

For a full description of the Library, go here. On file are catalogs, magazines and books devoted to toy trains from 1900 to the present. The Library maintains copies of commercial price guides for a number of popular manufacturers, but does not provide appraisals or evaluations.

Here are just several examples of the historic documents in the library:

Two easy ways for members to do online lookups:

Search our growing online library catalog, many records with images. (PastPerfect system, open to the public). Over 20,000 records including virtually all the Library's books and most of the 1200 photographs in the collection. Also included are manufacturers catalogs, advertising, newsletters, ¬†commemorative paper, posters and much more.¬† Each record contains detailed information about the item and search terms.¬†

Search the Toy Trains Quarterly Fifty Year Archive here. The Archive has a special search system for these holdings. (Member Password required.)

Jan Athey.The Library houses the archives of the Train Collectors Association. The library is administered by Librarian Jan Athey, with assistance from the Library and Historical Committee.

A list of other information sources is maintained here with the Library's assistance.

Hours:

January- March
  Mon-Fri   9:00-5:00

April-December
  Tues-Fri   9:00-5:00

Also open alternate Mondays and Saturdays

Subject to variation. Please call ahead to confirm availability:
  717 687-8976

How to Contact the Library:

  • Phone the Library at 717 687-8976.
  • Email the Library.
  • Write to:
      Toy Train Reference Library
      Train Collectors Association
      P. O. Box 248
      Strasburg, PA 17579-0248
Train Collectors Association Mission Statement:
"To develop an appreciation of and to preserve an important segment of history - Tinplate Toy Trains - through research, education, community outreach, fellowship, establishment of collecting standards, and to promote the growth and enjoyment of collecting and operating toy, model and scale trains."
Visit the other members of the TCA Family of Web Sites:
TCA Sites Gateway | Toy Train Museum | TCA e-Train Magazine | TCA x-change | Toy Trains Mailing List
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